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From Trams to Chaos

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In the beginning, trams ran on rails across Dublin city.
And buses started travelling on roads throughout the city.
And a DART appeared and ran north-south along existing rail lines.
And then Luas began running to the south and west on different tracks.
And next came (quality) bus corridors but few new buses or park-and-ride.
And, as road traffic continued to grow, congestion increased and commute times lengthened.
And then came plans for more Luas, a Metro, an underground rail link and more bus corridors.
And chaos reigned supreme as no one took charge and the buses, Luas, Metro and rail all went their merry ways.

Dublin's Traffic Mess

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Congratulations to the Director of Traffic at Dublin Corporation for bolting the stable door by telling the Kenmare Economics Conference last weekend that buses are still the solution to Dublin's traffic problems.

Why wasn't this view fully considered before the "powers that be" decided to invest €650 million (and counting) in LUAS? If we add the current debacle over the DART's weekend closures (investment of €170 million plus), the height of the Port Tunnel (€450 million) and the on/off debate about a Metro (several billion), one must wonder whether anybody has a clue as to what should be done about Dublin's traffic.

Surely the time is long, long past for the establishment of a single authority to assume total responsibility for all aspects of traffic and public transport in Greater Dublin.  This body might be set up on an ad hoc basis but progressively it should acquire real powers. In the long run, it is unlikely to be effective unless it controls (or, at least, supervises) Dublin Bus, LUAS and DART and has a significant say about traffic and related matters with the four local authorities and other interests which together and separately are making such an utter mess of Dublin's traffic .

Metro for Dublin?

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I think that the suggestion by your correspondent, Mr X, that the Spike should be called the Metropole is excellent. It is as near as Dublin will ever get to a metro.

Letter published in the Irish Times on 17th January 2003.

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